We’re just one month into winter (according to the calendar) and Mother Nature has already produced conditions that test even the heartiest of Midwesterners. Here in West Michigan, we’ve had 66 inches of snow so far, wind chill readings that recently approached -30 (that’s 30 below zero) and a polar vortex that has created extensive ice cover on Lake Michigan.
More snow and a second polar vortex is headed our way this week. (see below)
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, harsh winters are good for Great Lakes water levels. Ice cover reduces evaporation from the lakes — the single largest source of water loss from these inland seas. The lakes were in dire need of a boost after last winter, when water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron dipped to record lows.
Brutal winter conditions can also produce some amazing scenery. This photo of the iced-over Grand River and the Grand Haven lighthouse was taken by my friend Cory Morse, a photographer extraordinaire at the Grand Rapids Press. Cory ventured onto the icy Grand Haven pier recently to capture the sights of Winter 2014. His photos are a great way to experience the sights of winter without freezing your buns off. Check out his slideshow here. Enjoy!